The Flooding in Houston Is Absolutely Devastating

Fifty inches of rain could fall in parts of Texas.

Mark Mulligan/Houston Chronicle via AP

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Hurricane Harvey has now been downgraded to a tropical storm, but the devastation is only just beginning for southeast Texas. After the storm made landfall near Rockport, Texas, as a powerful Category 4 hurricane, emergency officials reported heavy damages to buildings in homes in the small town of 10,000 as well as in nearby Port Aransas. Now, catastrophic flooding has begun. Two feet of rain fell in just 24 hours in Houston. Forecasters are calling for as much as 50 inches of rain, the highest ever recorded in Texas, by the time the storm is over.

The National Weather Service in Houston issued a flash flood emergency as reports of devastating flooding began to come in.

By Sunday morning, highways and neighborhoods were already submerged.

911 services were overwhelmed as stranded people called for help.

More than 1,000 people have been rescued so far in the Houston area. The rain is expected to continue to fall for the next few days with the possibility of the storm going back out to the Gulf of Mexico and making another landfall in Houston on Wednesday.

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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